Californian dairy announces first full scale electric truck fueled by biomethane

August 4, 2017. The Straus Family Creamery in Marin County, California, has announced the launch of the first full-scale electric truck powered by biomethane created from cow manure.

   California dairy farmer Straus Family is a pioneer in organic dairy and sustainable agriculture. The new truck is the next step in the dairy’s quest to show that it can be carbon positive, using agriculture as a solution to reversing climate change.

   Albert Straus, CEO and founder of the Straus Family Creamery, along with a local mechanic, spent eight years developing the 33,000 lb. (13600kg) gross weight International Harvester to use as a feed truck on his farm. The truck measures, mixes and hauls feed before dropping it into a trough for the farm’s 300 organic dairy cows. The feed truck’s motor is charged from electrical power generated from methane gas produced by the cow’s own manure.

   California’s new greenhouse gas reduction laws, which include methane emission targets of 40% below 2013 levels by 2030, are putting pressure on the state’s dairy farmers. The state’s Air Resources Board says that much of the reduction should come from converting methane from cow manure into energy. Dairy manure accounts for about a quarter of the state’s methane emissions.